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Boosterrific.com: The Complete, Annotated Adventures of Booster Gold
Boosterrific.com: The Complete, Annotated Adventures of Booster Gold

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Showing posts 1 - 1 of 1 matching: russell w. belk

Wednesday, May 24, 2023

Comic Books for Fun and Profit

Booster booster Eskana has recently found Booster Gold in a very unexpected place: a 1987 issue of the academic Journal of Consumer Research.

The journal article, "Material Values in the Comics: A Content Analysis of Comic Books Featuring Themes of Wealth," as its author Russell W. Belk explains, "seeks to investigate a more detailed agenda of materialistic themes expressed in comic books." To do this, he studied stories from popular series featuring wealthy characters, specifically issues of Fox and Crow, Archie, Uncle Scrooge, and Richie Rich.

Comic book aficionados will not be surprised to learn that the results of this qualitative and quantitative analysis of American pop-culture reveals that American pop-culture generally reflects Protestant Christian values. "In terms of wealth and consumption per se, the message in the stories seems to be that material possessions can be both good and bad."

Booster Gold appears more or less as a footnote following the article's conclusion, wherein the author concedes that the stories of yesteryear may not be indicative of future themes, especially considering the more "fallible and human superheroes" who began appearing in the 1970s and 80s. Particular attention is drawn to — you guessed it — Booster Gold Volume 1. "If Booster Gold is a prototype, it will be extremely interesting to examine the messages about materialism that are delivered to the next generation of comic book readers."

Given that nearly four decades later, Booster continues to be a polarizing figure explicitly because of his unquenchable twin desires for wealth and fame, I'd say not all that much has changed. Thank goodness. (And thanks to Eskana for bringing this article to our attention.)

REFERENCES

Russell W. Belk, Material Values in the Comics: A Content Analysis of Comic Books Featuring Themes of Wealth, Journal of Consumer Research, Volume 14, Issue 1, June 1987, Pages 26—42, https://doi.org/10.1086/209090

Comments (1) | Add a Comment | Tags: eskana journal of consumer resarch russell w. belk


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